Originally published in Raising Arizona Kids on January 17, 2023.
Did you know your child could be receiving up to $7,000 for education expenses including private school tuition, tutoring services, learning materials, and more?
Janice Gruneberg, Senior Vice President & Superintendent of Schools for Grand Canyon Private Academy provides valuable insight into Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account
For those unfamiliar, what is ESA?
Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) provides scholarship dollars to Arizona families—regardless of their income level—to help them pursue flexible options for their children’s learning. Public funding through the ESA enables families to expand their educational opportunities outside the public school system and further personalize their educational experience. Arizona’s ESA can cover education expenses, including private school tuition, tutoring services, learning materials, and more.
Who is eligible to receive ESA benefits?
All students in grades K–12 who reside in the state of Arizona qualify for the Arizona ESA.
Are funds per student or per household?
These funds are per student — meaning that if you have multiple students in your household, each one is individually eligible for the ESA.
What can ESA funds be used towards?
ESA scholarship dollars can contribute to or even fully cover the cost of tutoring services, learning materials, and private school tuition. For example, the ESA fully covers full-time tuition, including all materials, at Grand Canyon Private Academy and FaithPrep Arizona. Arizona’s ESA provides approximately $7,000 per student for most families, regardless of household income, with more funds available to children with special needs.
What are the benefits of using ESA for private education? Can it be used at any private institution or only select ones?
Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account expands school choice so families can give their children the education they deserve. The program provides all Arizona families with scholarship dollars that contribute to or even fully cover private school tuition. Additionally, the ESA provides scholarship dollars for students with special needs, giving all parents the ability to customize their child’s education and an equal opportunity for children to access a personalized learning experience. These funds can be used at all private schools in Arizona.
What do parents need to do to receive these benefits for their child(ren)?
ESA applications are accepted year-round, so parents can start taking advantage of these funds in a timely manner and make changes to their children’s educational environment whenever they see fit. Most private schools will help guide parents through the application process with the state of Arizona. Funds are distributed each quarter, with funding beginning the quarter that the ESA contract is signed by parents.
Families seeking more information on the ESA program can visit AZ Empowerment Scholarship for a full breakdown of how they can take advantage of this opportunity for their children.
Anything else you’d like to add or think is helpful for parents to know regarding ESA and its benefits?
Currently, more than 45,000 Arizona students are now enrolled in private schools through Arizona’s ESA program, including my own! At a time when many students are recovering from the effects of the pandemic and learning loss, ESAs give Arizona families a new way to find the educational experience that best positions their children for success in the future. As a parent and an educator, I encourage all Arizona families to take advantage of this incredible opportunity if it is the right fit for their child.
To learn more about Grand Canyon Private Academy, visit https://gcpa.k12.com/